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Your local supermarket may soon be as scary as Google or Facebook

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What if there were no prices on anything in your local supermarket, because everything in the entire selection was priced individually just for you, and the food prices would vary with your habits, the time of day, and hundreds of other factors? That time may not be as far off as most would expect.

It’s said that a VISA executive can predict a divorce a full year ahead of the people actually divorcing, merely by observing the change in spending habits. And that’s looking just at sums total and merchants, not what you actually bought. When your local supermarket starts experimenting with spot prices for everything, A/B testing, and personalized price plans for its entire selection, we’re still only a small inroad into the potential future of food logistics and deliveries — and how invasive it can get into your privacy.

Amazon is the company that pioneered A/B-testing. Amazon is the company that caused an outcry, surely over a decade ago, over giving different customers different prices to test for better profitability. Perhaps most interestingly, Amazon is the company that allows internal competition to the point where every single company function is also offered externally, to make sure that particular function stays competitive even as Amazon grows. Famously, Amazon’s way of building data centers changed the entire data center industry when they opened up that part of the company to external customers.

Amazon is ten, twenty, maybe thirty years ahead of the competition, depending on what competition you look at.

This is the company that people first thought would kill brick-and-mortal retail altogether, and which then bought a huge chain of brick-and-mortar food stores (Whole Foods) in its biggest acquisition ever. That doesn’t make sense, if you’re looking only at their first business model — but Amazon is never sticking

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